Pediatric suicides in Greenville County doubled from 2019 to 2020, coroner says

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GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA)- The number of children who died by suicide in Greenville County doubled from 2019 to 2020, according to senior deputy coroner Kent Dill.

Pediatric suicides include those of youths aged 17 and younger. Dill said four youth in that age group died by suicide in Greenville County in 2019, and that number rose to eight in 2020. He said Greenville County is on track to see an elevated number of pediatric suicides again this year with four so far in 2021.

It’s not just teens who have been struggling. Dill said kids as young as ten are dying by suicide.

Experts say the stress and isolation of the pandemic have contributed to the struggles kids are facing. Jennifer Piver, who is the executive director of Mental Health America of Greenville County explains some of the signs a child may be contemplating suicide:

“They could be talking more about death, isolating, losing, gaining weight…or high risk behaviors are some of the things,” Piver said.

There are resources available. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached at 800- 273- talk (8255).

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